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Old 05-19-2013, 05:06 AM
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Interaction immediately after getting a bird

Hi all,

I don't have a bird yet, but I was wondering approximately how long I should wait before giving my bird direct attention. (I'm likely going to get a cockatiel). I've heard that most, if not all birds, take several days to weeks after arriving at their new home to actually be ready for handling. So, my question is, how long should I wait to start bonding with my bird directly? Or, how long did you wait to do this? My current plan of action was just to kind of "ignore him" for the first days and only change his food/water/litter and otherwise leave him be. I wasn't certain if this would help or hurt, as I wasn't sure if he might get more stressed and lonely if he's completely alone, but might get stressed if me and my family are hanging around him too much also. Should I just sit quietly around him until he gets used to me? Should I leave him alone? Thirdly, would placing the cage in a quiet pace be a better option until he's settled in? I figured after he was settled, it might be easier to move the cage into my living room, so he'd have more attention after we've built up a bit of trust.

What do you guys think?
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:22 AM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

I would put the cage where he gets the best view, and not in a quiet corner. If you were planning on having him in the living room, then start off there.

And no, I wouldn't ignore him. Quietly sit next to him and talk to him softly and gently. Try and avoid direct eye contact. You will see by his behavior whether he is reluctant, scared or curious. Then, after a while, offer him some treats. You will soon learn what foods he likes the most.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:40 AM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

Three weeks is what is recommended for Eclectus, regardless if it is a newly weaned baby or adult. You'll know if the bird is ready before that by observing its body language.

Of course there are birds who are ready much sooner. I would say a week is a reasonable time to let the bird have NO demands made on them so they can just watch the household and check out everything within their vision from where their cage sits and learn the routine of the members of their family and pets.

If after a week you calmly and slowly offer your hand for a step up and the bird lifts its foot then wonderful! If not, then wait a few more days and try again.

Eventually the bird will be ready and will have learned that it can trust you because you have paid attention and honored it's wishes when it is not quite ready.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:50 AM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

I left my tiel for about 3 days to settle down and adjust, i housed him in my living room in a corner where the walls offered security but he could clearly observe our daily activities. After 2-3 days I began to sit near him, sing, talk softly to him. Read to him and eat near him. After 3 days of that I began offering millet through the bars of the cage and after 3 days of that I opened the cage door and he walked out and hopped on my finger immediately. It depends on how long the bird adjusts. Could take weeks, months even years.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:18 PM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

I personally interact with all of my birds immediately after bringing them home, I just DO NOT force the interaction on them. If they choose to step up or come out I encourage it. This has included a tiel, quaker, and a cag. Each of my birds have turned out great. All of them interact well with each other and none have any aggression issues, eating problems, and all are in good feather and great health. As anyone here will tell you, all birds respond differently, you just have to find what works for you, and just work with your companion in the way he/she responds to you.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:35 PM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

If the bird is tame, I will interact with it. There's no reason to leave a tame bird to pine way in the cage while you senselessly leave it to "adjust". I finally brought my caique home last week and it would have driven her insane had I not interacted with her daily. My dad just got his U2 yesterday---- it needs daily interaction, we cannot just ignore him in his cage.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:24 PM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

A lot depends on a bird I think. You could watch it's body language and say if it is ready to interact. I had 3 cockatiels, one began interacting withing 2 weekes, another after a month and another one after 3 weeks.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:00 PM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

When I first bought Birdy, he was already a hand tamed baby. The second he arrived home I figured; because everything in his little world had changed and nothing was familiar anymore - new environment, new cage, new people - he was equally uncomfortable sitting in his cage as he was sitting on me. So I made the decision to have him get used to me before anything else by carrying him with me at all times for the first few hours. He bonded to me very quickly, in part due to having no-where else to go!

It worked so well that, to this day, I can walk into any new environment with him and so long as I am with him he feels safe!
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:08 PM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

Our breeder made sure Hahnzel was well socialzed before we got him. He stepped up from the first day but was a bit skittish for a few hours.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:44 PM
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Re: Interaction immediately after getting a bird

When i bring home a tame bird (dove, parrot, i don't do this with finches) i get some treats, a towel, and a small foot toy. Then i let the bird out of its box or crate and sit on the floor. I just let them come out when they are ready and give them a treat. After giving them some time to explore, i offer my hand to step up. If they aren't ready i give them some more time to explore and try again. I like to introduce them to their cage slowly. I put a few treats into the dish and try to get them to settle in. I let them rest and say goodnight to them. In the morning i let them out for a little while. I continue this until they build confidence and settle into the motion of our house hold. good luck with your future birdie
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